The Coral Cup is a deeply competitive handicap hurdle race, and one of the biggest betting races of the Cheltenham Festival, meaning that the market regularly changes throughout the season. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on horseracing.net for expert views and analysis on the 2020 Coral Cup as the picture becomes clearer.
The latest odds for the Coral Cup will be listed below just as soon as they become available.
Coral Cup Tips
Tips for the 2020 Coral Cup will appear here.
What is the Coral Cup?
The Coral Cup is a Grade 3 handicap hurdle race which is traditionally held on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, Ladies Day, which takes place on a Wednesday in March. The race is run over two miles and five furlongs, and has been sponsored by Coral throughout its history. It began life as a handicap, but was upgraded to Grade 3 handicap status in 1999.
The history of the Coral Cup
The race was introduced to the festival line-up in 1993, and the inaugural winner, the David Pipe-trained Olympian, was awarded a £50,000 bonus having won the Imperial Cup at Sandown the previous week. It has a reputation for being a notoriously tricky betting heat, and the winner regularly returns at a big price - something shown by the 2019 winner, William Henry, who won at 28/1 for Nicky Henderson. Winners of the Coral Cup regularly go on to take their chance in the Stayers’ Hurdle the following season, with the most recent being the 2017 winner Supasundae, who has since finished second in the 2018 renewal and seventh in the 2019 renewal.
What happened in the 2019 Coral Cup?
The 2019 Coral Cup was a typically competitive renewal, with 25 heading to post. Willie Mullins had struck in the race the previous year with Bleu Berry, so it was no surprise to see a Mullins horse, Uradel, head the market, and he was sent off as a 13/2 favourite. As you would expect for such a competitive heat, plenty still had claims turning for home, though three familiar names would fight out the finish, Ballyandy, Wicklow Brave and William Henry. The last-named left it late, but stayed on strongly to pick up the lead in the final few strides and win by a short head for the Nicky Henderson team.
Several winners of the Coral Cup have gone on to bigger and better things, including the 2014 winner, the Nicky Henderson-trained Whisper. Having prevailed at the Festival by the smallest of margins, it didn’t take long for Whisper to build on that, winning the Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree the following month - a race he would follow up in 12 months later. Whisper would go on to develop into a top chaser, and was part of one of the most memorable finishes in Cheltenham Festival ever - though admittedly, he was as much as a spectator as the rest of us - sticking to his task gamely in the 2017 RSA Chase, while the enigmatic Might Bite proceeded to seemingly throw away all chances of victory when veering disastrously right after the final flight, before snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Are there any trials for the Coral Cup?
With the Coral Cup being a handicap, the route to Cheltenham is a little more unclear, and contenders can come from a host of sources. The Coral Cup’s distance of two miles and five furlongs means it can prove useful to keep an eye on qualifiers for the Pertemps Final (which is over three miles), while races such as the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las and the Boyne Hurdle at Navan have been contested by recent winners of the Coral Cup on their way to Cheltenham.
Who is the most successful jockey in the Coral Cup?
The most successful jockey in the history of the Coral Cup is Davy Russell, who has ridden three winners in the race, courtesy of Naiad de Misselot (2008), Carlito Brigante (2011) and Diamond King (2016).
Who is the most successful trainer in the Coral Cup?
The most successful trainer in the history of the Arkle Trophy is the legendary Martin Pipe, who has trained the winner of the race on three occasions, with the inaugural winner of the race, Olympian (1993), Big Strand (1997) and Ilnamar (2002).